State Health Officials Submit Plans For COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout

Oct 16, 2020, 5:16 PM | Updated: 8:31 pm
FILE (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)...
FILE (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — The Utah Department of Health has submitted their plans for a statewide COVID-19 vaccine campaign to the Centers for Disease Control.

The submission deadline was Friday.

The immunization director for the Utah Department of Health said our state will be ready to distribute when a vaccine is ready.

“This is going to be the largest vaccination campaign that we have ever done, ” said Rich Lakin, state immunization director. “We’re trying to do it in an efficient manner, yet trying to do it as quickly as possible, which makes it difficult.”

The Utah COVID-19 Vaccination Plan is a 46-page document that details how Utahns will get immunized when a vaccine is approved.

Lakin said availability of the vaccine will dictate the pace of the rollout.

The CDC told states to get ready to vaccinate by Nov. 1, and Utah will be ready.

The greatest complication, Lakin said, is not knowing anything about the vaccine itself because none has been approved.

“We’re doing everything that we need to plan, yet we only have a little bit of information about the vaccine itself,” he said.

Lakin was told by his CDC colleagues Thursday that the first doses could arrive anytime between mid-November and January.

Initially, doses will be limited. A group of physicians, pharmacists, and other healthcare workers have been working over the last month to come up with a plan for prioritizing the vaccine.

The four major hospitals on the Wasatch Front with the greatest number of healthcare workers and COVID-19 patients will get the vaccine first to vaccinate healthcare workers, and other priority groups. Those hospitals are the University of Utah Hospital and LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City, Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, and Utah Valley Regional Medical Center in Provo.

“The key thing that people need to remember is that the vaccine is going to drive the response,” Lakin said. “If we have limited vaccine, we have limited vaccine in who we can give that response to. If we start to get a moderate amount of vaccine, we can broaden that vaccine distribution.”

His best guess for when that broader distribution might happen?

“Probably around summertime when the public can start receiving the vaccine,” the immunization director said.

Where will Utahns get it?

“The public will have an option to either go to a private physician if they have the vaccine, or they can go to the pharmacy,” said Lakin. “They can also go to their local health department.”

The state has been working closely with the 13 public health districts within Utah to come up with their plans.

Lakin said everybody involved in the distribution of a vaccine will have to be strategic and patient to ensure that limited supplies are not wasted.

“We’re confident that this will go as smoothly as possible, but I think we all need to understand there will be bumps in the road,” he said.

For those who think the vaccine has been rushed or that it cannot be trusted, the immunization director said the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the CDC will have to approve the vaccine before it goes out.

 “That’s the gold standard,” said Lakin. “That meets the standard that the vaccine is safe, and it is time to put the vaccine out.”
KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Coronavirus Utah

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - SEPTEMBER 09: A pharmacist prepares to administer  COVID-19 vaccine booster sho...
Jed Boal

University Health recommends getting omicron booster and flu shot now

The CDC approved the COVID-19 bivalent boosters that target the most recent omicron variants on September 1. Since then, tens of thousands of Utahns have rolled up their sleeves.
5 months ago
FILE: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 (left) and Moderna COVID-19 (right) vaccines are seen at a vaccinati...
Jed Boal

Despite reaching 5,000 deaths, Utah’s COVID-19 numbers are down

The director of the World Health Organization said yesterday about COVID-19, “the end is in sight,” even if we are not there yet.
5 months ago
FILE: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 (left) and Moderna COVID-19 (right) vaccines are seen at a vaccinati...
LAURA UNGAR AP Science Writer

Is COVID-19 winding down? Scientists say no

New booster shots have arrived and social distancing guidelines have eased but COVID-19 infections aren't going away anytime soon. Experts predict the scourge that's already lasted longer than the 1918 flu pandemic will linger far into the future as the virus continues to cause deaths and may well mutate or evolve into a new disease.
5 months ago
FILE: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 (left) and Moderna COVID-19 (right) vaccines are seen at a vaccinati...

US clears updated COVID boosters targeting newest variants

U.S. clears updated COVID-19 boosters targeting the newest omicron strain; shots could begin within days.
5 months ago
FILE: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 (left) and Moderna COVID-19 (right) vaccines are seen at a vaccinati...
Jed Boal

Updated COVID-19 boosters likely available next month as ‘twindemic’ fears emerge

Concerns about a potential surge in COVID-19 and the flu at the same time this fall are emerging again. Each of the last two years, warnings about a so-called “twindemic” did not materialize, but this year could be different.
6 months ago
FILE: Davis School District....
Mike Anderson

Davis School District adds resources to handle COVID-19

The Davis School District is shifting their approach to COVID, putting more decisions in the hands of parents while getting more funds to help monitor the virus.
6 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
State Health Officials Submit Plans For COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout